Taking back (bladder) control
Urinary incontinence affects about 15% of women in Singapore, although men can be afflicted with this condition too. It’s the involuntary leakage of urine, which can go beyond a physical condition to one that affects your social life and mental wellbeing.
In fact, the statistics on urinary incontinence are probably significantly lowered by the embarrassment that people with this condition tend to feel, which prevents them from telling others about their problem and seeking treatment (but you’re not alone! REMEMBER: 15%).
Stress and urge
The two main types of urinary incontinence are stress incontinence and urge incontinence, otherwise known as having an overactive bladder. Stress incontinence is leakage caused by pressure exerted on the bladder (from sneezing, laughing, and so on) and is the more prevalent of the two.
Urge incontinence occurs when your bladder muscles contract even though your bladder isn’t full yet, causing an uncontrollable urge to pee — this type of incontinence also increases urinary frequency.
Why me, pee?
Urinary incontinence can be caused by a number of reasons. Many of us associate it with getting older, but it isn’t actually a part of natural ageing — although the weakening of our bladder muscles over time can increase our risk. Common causes are urinary tract infections, prostatitis, and even lifestyle choices like consuming caffeine or alcohol.
Just like the causes of urinary incontinence, the treatment of it can vary greatly depending on the severity of the symptoms. The simplest treatments involve changing your fluid intake or pelvic floor exercises to improve your bladder control. More serious cases might involve surgery or even catheterization, which is when a tube leading to a urine bag is inserted into the urethra (which sounds way scarier than it usually is).
If you’d like to find out more about urinary incontinence, check out this guide on the subject — and if you’re thinking about seeing a urologist, put your fears aside and read our Ultimate Guide to Seeing a Urologist in Singapore!
5 Singaporean stories to catch up on
1️⃣ Guilt-free nugget: Singapore is the first country in the world to approve consumption of lab-grown chicken.
2️⃣ It’s happening! Moderna is now seeking approval for its COVID-19 vaccine here in Singapore.
3️⃣ Strict as always: Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs has expressed its disapproval of the UN’s decision to ease restrictions on cannabis use.
4️⃣ In sickness and in health: A Singaporean couple had their wedding shoot in the chemotherapy bay where the soon-to-be groom supported his fiancee through her breast cancer journey.
5️⃣ Yes, Mrs President! President Halimah Yacob has highlighted the need to help younger Singaporeans with potential mental health issues.
And 5 facts to spice up your life:
1️⃣ Berry interesting: HIV medication for babies will soon be available as a berry-flavoured dissolving tablet.
2️⃣ Watch it! The USA has approved the use of a prescription smartwatch to improve sleep quality in PTSD patients.
3️⃣ How mice! Scientists at Yale School of Medicine have discovered a virus that can cure ovarian cancer in mice.
4️⃣ Hold your breath: A new study shows that COVID-19 can affect your brain through the nose.
5️⃣ While you were sleeping: Studies show that the pandemic has been invading both our waking lives and our dreamscapes.
YOUR SLEEP ANIMAL
Forget your Hogwarts house
You’ve heard of night owls and morning larks, now make room for the other animal chronotypes — lions, dolphins, wolves, and bears.
Your chronotype is your circadian typology (basically, it explains how your internal body clock works). By understanding what your chronotype is, you can adjust your daily activities to maximise productivity and improve the quality of your sleep.
Which one are you?
Most people fall under the ‘Bear’ category, which follows the sun — they wake up in the morning, are most productive before noon, have a little bit of a dip around 3PM, and then fall asleep pretty easily at night.
Wolves like to lie in a little — they’re most productive after 12PM and then peak again in the evening. They also tend to sleep later than most.
Lions wake up super early (like, before dawn early) and sleep early as well. They get most of their work done in the morning and are basically done with the day by early afternoon.
Dolphins, unfortunately, are the lightest sleepers and often have trouble following a fixed sleep schedule. They do have a window of productivity from 10AM to 2PM, but are pretty tired and cranky the rest of the day.
Taming your inner sleep-beast
Once you identify your chronotype, you can maximise your productivity by arranging your daily schedule to suit your sleep profile. For example, if you’re a bear, set your deadlines earlier in the day to avoid getting dragged down by the post-lunch fatigue.
If you’re a wolf, you probably don’t want to have any meetings set for the morning, while lions would definitely prefer that. If you’re a dolphin, you might want to look into ways to improve the quality of your sleep so you can get enough sleep at night. We think we’re sloths — we just need lots of coffee and we’re good.
Still having issues with getting proper sleep? Here’s The Ultimate Guide to Sleep Disorders in Singapore.
Weird & Wonderful
- Ketchup is tomato jam.
- Boxing gloves should be called boxing mittens.
- We would be so much more productive if we didn’t have to be unconscious while recharging.
- We’re so lucky that most of our bodily functions don’t require any of our attention.
- The tooth fairy is our first introduction to selling body parts for profit.
The best medicine
Here’s a question for all you readers out there: Why are doctors always so calm? It’s because they have a lot of patients. (cue cricket noises, please)
Bad jokes aside, did you know that laughing is actually really good for you? Lots of studies have reported the benefits of laughter over the years — so much so that laughter therapy and laughter yoga have become fairly legitimate practices.
From boosting your immunity to improving lung function, laughter has a whole host of physical health benefits. Beyond that, it can also have a powerful positive impact on our mental wellbeing. It’s empowering and greatly reduces our stress levels — and who doesn’t love a good stress reliever? When it’s shared with other people, laughter can also create social bonds and strengthen our interpersonal relationships.
So if this pandemic’s got you down, a good laugh could actually be just what the doctor ordered. On that note, did you hear about the guy who lost his whole left side? He’s all right now!